I figure there is about a .0001 % chance that my little brother reads my blog about sewing, so it is safe to post his Christmas present. But if I am wrong, Tyrel, don't read this! Or I will give it to Brandon, and you will get a lump of coal.
I have heard lots of women say that they don't sew (anymore) because it's just cheaper to buy clothes at Wal-Mart. Is it?
I'd say yes and no. Sometimes, if you get fabric and patterns on sale or at a thrift store, it's cheaper to sew your own. I've made dresses that cost $2. I bought four yards of fabric at a thrift store for fifty cents, and if you use vintage patterns found at a thrift store, patterns can be 10 cents apiece, as opposed to the $8 or so that they cost new and not on sale.
But sometimes you can't find these wonderful deals, or you are making something like the shirt jacket that I made my brother for Christmas. Which, being lined, required somewhere along the lines of six yards of fabric. Which I did buy on sale. I bought the pattern, which is out of print, off of E-bay, so it cost a more than ten cents. All in all, I'd say materials cost around $20. The cost of the pattern can be spread out among the many projects I hope to make from it. While I was slaving over this shirt jacket (and believe me, I got to be good friends with my seam ripper) I saw that similar items (insulated flannel shirt jackets) cost around $15 at Wal-Mart.
The thing about Wal-Mart, though, is that the quality of the clothing is low. My husband has one of those cheap shirt jackets, and it falls apart a little more each time it is washed. And the cloth that I made Ty's shirt out of is moleskin, not the flannel that they make the shirts at Wal-Mart out of. And moleskin shirts cost a bit more than $15. Also, gray and black is a color combination that I believe Ty is fond of. I just did a google search for men's moleskin shirt jackets, and they all cost more than I spent on materials (from $25 for an unlined one, to $90 and considerably higher), and only one came in that color combination. Oh yeah, and Ty has monkey arms, so off the rack shirts in "his size" don't usually have long enough sleeves to suit him.
So sometimes, what you have to take into consideration is not, "Is it cheaper than Wal-Mart?" but "Is it cheaper than items OF SIMILAR QUALITY and the same material?" and "Can I find it in the colors/size/style that I want?"
Okay, stepping off the soap box now.